July 15–A sport utility vehicle collided with an Akron fire truck Friday afternoon, killing two people inside the SUV, including a 16-year-old girl, and injuring three firefighters.

Fire Engine No. 3 was southbound on Rhodes Avenue about 3:45 p.m. when witnesses say a burgundy Chevrolet Trailblazer westbound on Exchange Street ran a red light and struck the fire truck, Akron Police Capt. Daniel Zampelli said.

The SUV spun after impact with the engine and landed on a telephone pole, Zampelli said. At least five people inside the SUV were taken to area hospitals, where two of them died.

Their identities weren’t immediately released.

The three firefighters also were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, Zampelli said. All were expected to recover. The fire engine was damaged on the front of the vehicle.

The fire truck wasn’t responding to a call at the time of the accident, Zampelli said. The firefighters were en route to training.

The Akron police accident reconstruction team was on site Friday evening.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Fire Chief Clarence Tucker issued a joint state Friday evening, saying: “We are deeply saddened by this truly tragic event. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims and all individuals involved, including the three members of our Fire Department.”

The mayor and chief said the city is conducting a full investigation “and will provide additional information to the public as it is known.”

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By Amanda Garrett, The Akron Beacon Journal

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